If you ask your average car geek for one of the fastest cars on sale today, they will likely answer with one of three, seven-figure hypercars -- the, or . But if lap records are any marker, a tiny British two-seater should earn its place among the household names.
The Lotus 3-Eleven is a small, topless track car, packing 456 horsepower from a modified Toyota V-6, along with a price tag of about $130,000 -- significantly cheaper than any hypercar. Yet, when Sport Auto's road test editor Christian Gebhardt took the 3-Eleven to Germany's Hockenheimring, it set the track record, besting Porsche's flagship 918 Spyder.
It claimed top honors by a hair -- a tenth of a second, to be precise -- but its victory is no less impressive. Complicated hybrid systems can elicit impressive performance, but Colin Chapman's old quote still rings true if you want a car that can compete with the best of them: "Simplify, then add lightness."
Next stop: Nürburgring! (Hopefully.)